by Joe Harris
The Newport Bermuda Race 2012, organized by volunteer members of the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda YC, is currently underway. Joe Harris onboard GryphonSolo2 reports on the third day of racing.
GryphonSolo2 out in front in the Double-Handed Class - Newport Bermuda Race 2012
GryphonSolo2 are moving well and about 170 miles from Bermuda. It got a little slow last night as the breeze softened from 20 knots to 10 knots and it felt like we were going very slow, but that was only because we had been going very fast. We have a limited repertoire of sails due to our little fiasco yesterday, so are just trying to keep the boat moving in the right direction. We have had a lot of foul current to the south of the gulf stream - 2.5 knots pushing us left to right and slightly forward of the beam, so cutting about 1.5 knots off speed over the ground vs speed through the water. We are trying to stay focused and rested by swapping watches every three hours so. We are prepared for the navigation and tactical challenges of approaching Bermuda (probably in the dark), crossing the finish line off St. David's Light and then sailing around the island to Hamilton Harbor and the friendly confines of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. But let's not get too far ahead! We are pouring over the GRIB files and running our routing program again and again to make sure we get the approach right. The wind is forecast to come forward - from to South - so we are trying to set up for that shift, even though it is not clear exactly when it is coming. We are moving at about 10 knots now, but the wind is forecast to lighten, so we are hoping to cross the finish line in the wee hours of Monday morning and sail around to Hamilton in the daylight.
So, that's about the size of it out here. I am looking forward to seeing my family - Kim, Griffin, Emmett, Sophie and my mother Katrina - down in Bermuda on Tuesday for a little vacation. Can't wait - but a few miles to go before we sleep.
PS: We understand that Rambler broke the course record, which is very cool for those guys after they lost their keel and flipped their other Rambler (aka Speedboat) over in the Fastnet race last summer. Congratulations boys.
Newport Bermuda Race website